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Author Topic: My daughter HATES Orthodoxy & I only have -3 more yrs w/her. Any advise?  (Read 8925 times) Average Rating: 0
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Marina14
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« on: January 18, 2010, 06:08:56 PM »

My daughter literally hates everything to do with the Orthodox Religion.
She's moving out as soon as she graduates High School so I only have less than 3 more yrs to parent her & influence her.
What do I do?
I want her to fall in love with God and His Orthodox Faith. I've constantly prayed for her. I'm at a loss.
She just told the priest during Confession that she wants to be Catholic and he told her "No. Don't be Catholic." She doesn't know and has No desire to know the differences between the Churches.
She really wants to be Agnostic or a Protestant or Catholic...Anything but Orthodox.
As a single parent and the only member of our extended family who is Orthodox & we have no Orthodox friends that live on this side of the country - so no other influence...What do I do?
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2010, 06:11:29 PM »

Perhaps you could list some of her particular objections with Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2010, 06:12:53 PM »

Welcome to the forum.   Smiley

Lord have Mercy.
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Marina14
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2010, 06:17:42 PM »

Her response: It's stupid. It's boring. It's pointless. It's dumb. It's a waste of time. It takes to long. I can't understand it anyway even when it is chanted in English because everything is sung.

Perhaps you could list some of her particular objections with Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2010, 06:17:54 PM »

Love her and pray for her.  If your main goal is to make her love the religion, then that's exactly what she's going to rebel against.  If it's not prying too deeply, how long have you been attempting to instill the faith in her?  Have you been lax in raising her Orthodox up to this point?  Have you been praying with her has she grows up and doing the daily prayers and scripture readings with her?  If you're trying to compensate now for doing a poor job up until this point, it's probably not going to work.  With a teenager, the surest way to drive them away from anything is to let them know how much you want them to do something.  If you were an atheist and hated religion, I bet Orthodoxy would be looking pretty good to her right now.

All you can do is show Christ's love.  Everyone has to wrestle with belief, it's the beauty of the way God created us.  She has to choose God for herself, not because you want it for her.

By the way, how do you know what she confessed to your priest?  If he's sharing her confessions with you, then it's no wonder she's not interested!
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2010, 06:19:35 PM »

Welcome to the forum.

If she's in her mid-teens she just may be going through a rebellious stage.  She probably knows that Orthodoxy is important to you and she is using it to strike out at you.  Why is she striking out at you?  Because she needs to strike out at someone and you are a "safe" person, because she knows you love her.

OK, how's that for pop-psychology?   Smiley  I'm just basing this on what I've observed with others like you who are parenting teenagers.  I would just pray about it.  The good news is that she will most likely eventually come around.  The bad news is that it may take a while.
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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2010, 06:20:28 PM »

Her response: It's stupid. It's boring. It's pointless. It's dumb. It's a waste of time. It takes too long.

This is probably her reaction to anything that's not on MTV right now.  Don't take your teenager too seriously, because they sure don't take anything very seriously.
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« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2010, 06:29:52 PM »

She's never been allowed to watch MTV and I don't think any of her friends do either.
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2010, 06:37:23 PM »

Love her and pray for her. If it's not prying too deeply, how long have you been attempting to instill the faith in her?  Have you been lax in raising her Orthodox up to this point?  Have you been praying with her has she grows up and doing the daily prayers and scripture readings with her?
By the way, how do you know what she confessed to your priest?  If he's sharing her confessions with you, then it's no wonder she's not interested!

I've loving and praying for her for years.

I've been trying to instill the Faith in her since our conversion to Orthodoxy.

No, she was never given a Prayer Rule by any priest.

The priest has never revealed what she confesses. She told me. It really pissed her off what he said and so she was venting to me about it.
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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2010, 06:46:37 PM »

She's never been allowed to watch MTV and I don't think any of her friends do either.

Well, I just meant at that age that teenagers are typically only interested in popular culture and celebrities, rock bands, et cetera.  Some people never grow past the cult of celebrity (People Magazine, anyone?).  I understand that you just want her to love Christ, but all you can do is pray for her.
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« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2010, 06:50:14 PM »

Marina,

Remember the Prodigal Son? Be like his Father; wait and pray. The more you push, the more she will resist and the more distance you will put between her and you. Give her your blessing and your unconditonal love and let her "do her thing". It's hard and the things she might do in the future will be hard to witness, but it's her life and you need to let her live it. It might be years before she wants to be a Christian on her own terms rather than yours, but she needs to find faith for herself. You can't force piety onto anyone; to attempt to do so with cause more problems to your relationship with your daughter than necessary.

Lord, have mercy on Marina's daughter.
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« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2010, 06:54:22 PM »

Show her some 'Death to the World' zines.
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« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2010, 06:57:50 PM »

Just so I'm clear on the advise being given: I should continue to pray for her. I should Not take her to Church or encourage her to pray at all - just not say anything to her at all & not have her exposed to the Church & just hope and pray for the best. That somehow with Non-exposure she will fall in love with God and His Church?
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« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2010, 06:59:19 PM »

Show her some 'Death to the World' zines.

What is that?
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« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2010, 07:04:03 PM »

Just so I'm clear on the advise being given: I should continue to pray for her. I should Not take her to Church or encourage her to pray at all - just not say anything to her at all & not have her exposed to the Church & just hope and pray for the best. That somehow with Non-exposure she will fall in love with God and His Church?

If the alternative is further pushing her to attend services she hates, it seems the likelihood is high she will hate them more if compelled to attend. I think continuing to love her, support her, and pray for her, while showing her in your actions the good fruits of being Orthodox, are your best options. Compulsion or coercion will just further turn her off.
It's not you who can convert her- only God. Oh...and a lot can happen in 3 years, especially if they're teenage years.  Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2010, 07:05:08 PM »

Show her some 'Death to the World' zines.

What is that?

http://www.deathtotheworld.com/

http://www.deathtotheworld.com/articles/001/dttw.html

The last true rebellion is death to the world. To be crucified to the world and the world to us.

With the seed of dissatisfaction deeply planted in the heart of today's society, rebellion has been a small key to unlock the doors of change. But the rebellion that the world has known is not the fullness of true rebellion.

Since our times have come to a point where things can't get much worse, the few remaining lovers of truth must search deeper into themselves and deeper into the truth itself -- but to get to this point a revolution must take place. A revolution in the hearts of these lovers of truth. A revolution that annihilates all earthly and worldly thinking and that nurtures a way of thinking that is not of this world. Because that which is of the flesh is of the flesh and that which is of the spirit is of the spirit.

There is a grave necessity for this internal revolution, for only by this can progress be made. For how can one help a world with festering wounds until one mends one's own wounds. After this spiritual surgery has taken place, true rebellion is an ideal that is attainable.

In this age of confusion and destruction, the necessary distinction between good vs evil has been deathly confused. The result of this is nihilism. The philosophy of nothingness, that no ultimate truth exists. In nihilism, there is neither love or hatred, good or bad, life or death. The result of this is the soul destroying idea that even God does not exist.

The natural reaction to all of this is an internal rebellion of the soul, for the soul cannot deny it's own existence. At this point an all-out unseen war is fully engaged. In the case of the lover of truth, the rebellion manifests itself externally in a rebellion against this corrupt world. This is good, but there are too many people who just stop at this point. Without searching any further, how can one expect to uncover the answers? True rebellion will stop at nothing in the fight for the good of the world, for the good of others, and for the good itself in whatever way it manifests itself. It is necessary to wage a revolution in the heart in order to conquer evil with good so as to have a rebellion in truth. This is the kind of rebellion that must take place pr else it isn't rebellion at all.

There once was a counter-culture with the sole purpose of rebelling against the world. This counter-culture was wise in the sense that it's philosophy was based on recognizing the corruption of the world. In this lies half of the truth. It represents more truth than the world would ever dare to acknowledge. But this counter-culture must not stop at this, but must seek unto death the ultimate in truth if it is to accomplish that which it first set out to do: to care for and tend the world's wounds.

This counter culture of Punx is something that a handful of truth seekers can easily identify with, for it is very clear that the world is coming to a close. To be a true punk is to have nothing to do with that element which kills, hurts and causes pain, but to cauterize wounds. To be in the world but not of the world.

In actuality the true ideals of punk have yet to be introduced to the Punx themselves, as does the fullness of their rebellion. These ideals and this philosophy are the world's best kept secret. A secret that has been in the souls of those few lovers of truth ever since the beginning of time. The philosophy of punk has been around for centuries in the hearts and souls of the true Punx ... The Monks.

Monks are those who for thousands of years have rebelled against the corruption of this world by severing all chains binding themselves to the world. They have fled this vain world to live in caves, in holes in the ground, and to dwell in the deserts. To eat maybe once a day or even once a week, to wear the same clothes until they completely fall apart, and to rarely sleep because the cause is more important than the pleasures of this world. In these deprivations and sufferings they would realize one thing: There is no real suffering at all than to not know God.

"This is the last true rebellion: To forsake the world and to embrace God alone." -- Monk Justin Martyr
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« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2010, 07:07:46 PM »

Just so I'm clear on the advise being given: I should continue to pray for her. I should Not take her to Church or encourage her to pray at all - just not say anything to her at all & not have her exposed to the Church & just hope and pray for the best. That somehow with Non-exposure she will fall in love with God and His Church?

How old is she... 15? Haven't you already exposed her to the Church; and are now expressing concern at her current reaction? Doesn't sound like pushing it is going to change anything, other than make it worse. But your unconditional love and patience might. Have you ever told her that her decision is ultimately hers and you will love her no matter what choice she makes?
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« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2010, 07:08:12 PM »

Her response: It's stupid. It's boring. It's pointless. It's dumb. It's a waste of time. It takes to long. I can't understand it anyway even when it is chanted in English because everything is sung.

Hi Marina, welcome to the forum. Smiley I'm a bit older than your daughter (I'm 30), but I'm a sometime agnostic, sometime Orthodox Christian, sometime something else, so perhaps I can sympathise with both you and your daughter. I wouldn't say that Orthodoxy is stupid or dumb or a waste of time, but I certainly have had thoughts such as: "I don't believe this, so why am I praying? why am I attending liturgy? what's the point?"  Really, and this can't be easy for anyone to hear as advice, but this is probably out of your control. It'll just take time and allowing your daughter to find herself. The life in Christ takes cooperation with God, and if your daughter doesn't want to cooperate, well what can you do, but pray and try to provide an example, and prepare yourself to answer questions when she is ready to think about being Orthodox down the road?

Quote
I should Not take her to Church or encourage her to pray at all - just not say anything to her at all & not have her exposed to the Church & just hope and pray for the best. That somehow with Non-exposure she will fall in love with God and His Church?

Fwiw, if I was in your position, I would invite her to Church, but not force her to go. Non-exposure won't make her fall in love with God, but on the other hand, forcing her to do something against her will might cause some issues that will take longer to resolve than if you had just let her have her own way for the time being. On the one hand, I can see how you wouldn't want her to be unchurched. On the other hand, you don't want her leaving your home and going off on her own being bitter or resentful, and vowing that "now that she's free to do as she wants" she will never be Orthodox. But whatever your decision, I'd try to explain your thinking to her. Do so in a letter if that would be better (e.g. if trying to talk about it would just result in a fight, or she would mostly ignore you).

I'm sorry that I'm not of much help, those are my thoughts though, for whatever they're worth.
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« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2010, 07:10:09 PM »

Just so I'm clear on the advise being given: I should continue to pray for her. I should Not take her to Church or encourage her to pray at all - just not say anything to her at all & not have her exposed to the Church & just hope and pray for the best. That somehow with Non-exposure she will fall in love with God and His Church?

Marina,
I think what people mean is that your daughter will learn about God and the Church from you. If you force it on her against her will at this age (the "rebellious" teens), she will see God as imposing Himself on her against her will, and will of course come to hate the Church. If she doesn't want to go to Church, then you go. Light the vigil lamp in front of the icons and incense the house, give alms to the poor, keep the fasts, in short, be an example of Orthodox Christian Life for her. If she sees that you loving God and His Church is a positive thing in your life, she will follow your example. If on the other hand she perceives it as having a negative effect, she will reject it. Teenagers cannot tolerate the slightest hint of hypocrisy- they have a great way of keeping us honest.
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« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2010, 07:28:13 PM »

Can’t force someone to like something.
I would help her find another Christian church and I would pray pray pray.

The worst thing of all is if she abandons Jesus and becomes an agnostic, in that state she will be open to great sin.
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« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2010, 07:40:18 PM »

Welcome Marina!

Don’t despair.  There is hope!
 My first post on OCnet was almost exactly the same as yours.  One of my kids stated that he was never going to go to church again when he graduated from high school.  I talked with my priest and he reassured me that this probably would not happen.  He had heard this from many teens that had grown up in the Church and they were now active as adults.

Arguing with my son would have made him defend his statement, so I never discussed it. I prayed more diligently and covertly “evangelized” (there’s that scary word  Wink ) him in his last months at home.  I forced myself to talk more openly about Christ, the importance of doing His work, and our my love for our Church. I continuously pointed out positive works by Christians and our Church. I utilized discussions on world events to reinforce the differences in various religions.  Finally, I strongly encouraged him to continue contact with the other young adults at church when he went to college.

He did not stop attending DL as he had threatened.  Every Sunday that he has been home from college to visit, he has gotten out of bed without any conflict. He even attended a Vespers.  Glory to God!

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« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2010, 07:45:03 PM »

Just so I'm clear on the advise being given: I should continue to pray for her. I should Not take her to Church or encourage her to pray at all - just not say anything to her at all & not have her exposed to the Church & just hope and pray for the best. That somehow with Non-exposure she will fall in love with God and His Church?
My rules that I learned from my parents-  If she lives in your house, eats your food, and uses your electricity, she follows your rules.  If the family goes to church, she should go to church with you....no exceptions.  You are the parent; be the parent.
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« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2010, 07:52:23 PM »

My rules that I learned from my parents-  If she lives in your house, eats your food, and uses your electricity, she follows your rules.  If the family goes to church, she should go to church with you....no exceptions.  You are the parent; be the parent.

As a 19-year-old rebellious guy I have to state it is the worst argument parents can use.
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« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2010, 07:53:21 PM »

My brother went through a very rebellious time at that age, and while he still said he cared about God, he almost never went to church and refused to be present when we prayed for our food (despite "house rules", being left at the homeless shelter for the night a few times, etc). It greatly upset my parents. I didn't (and don't) understand why kids rebel, so it was just an odd time. Then suddenly he started to turn around and attends church (my family is Protestant).

It's discouraging, but it may be a maturity thing. I don't have children so I'm of limited help, but prayer certainly can't hurt. Look to St Monica - she prayed for her rather wicked son for 20 years and never gave up. And Augustine went on to become one of Christianity's greatest saints, certainly in the West (theology aside).
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« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2010, 08:06:05 PM »

My rules that I learned from my parents-  If she lives in your house, eats your food, and uses your electricity, she follows your rules.  If the family goes to church, she should go to church with you....no exceptions.  You are the parent; be the parent.

As a 19-year-old rebellious guy I have to state it is the worst argument parents can use.
Too bad.  Smiley  Somebody has to be the boss in a family and it shouldn't be the child.  If my child wanted me to approve of activity that was unhealthy for her, I, the parent, would say, "No".  I've raised four extremely well-behaved kids that have never been in trouble or on drugs.  This is because I have prayed diligently for them and I have always been "the parent".
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« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2010, 08:10:28 PM »

Apostatising can't be described for atheist as an 'unhealthy activity'. Threatening to sack the child out of home because of worldview (not because of interesting in dangerous things) can only succeed in creating hatred between parents and the child.
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« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2010, 08:38:31 PM »

My rules that I learned from my parents-  If she lives in your house, eats your food, and uses your electricity, she follows your rules.  If the family goes to church, she should go to church with you....no exceptions.  You are the parent; be the parent.

As a 19-year-old rebellious guy I have to state it is the worst argument parents can use.
Too bad.  Smiley  Somebody has to be the boss in a family and it shouldn't be the child.  If my child wanted me to approve of activity that was unhealthy for her, I, the parent, would say, "No".  I've raised four extremely well-behaved kids that have never been in trouble or on drugs.  This is because I have prayed diligently for them and I have always been "the parent".

If the OP's daughter was into drugs or alcohol or beating the Bejeezus out of her classmates, then, as a parent, you have every right to put your foot down. But the issue here concerns religion. If Christ Himself told the Holy Apostles not to force religion on anyone they were going out to preach to, are you saying YOU know better than Christ Himself? You can force the religion on someone else, even under your roof, but I guarantee they will hate you for it and they won't truly be Orthodox. Orthodoxy is chosen, not forced, especially when it comes to a teen. Believe me, I still remember my teen years! Wink
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« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2010, 08:47:29 PM »

As others said, let her find her way.  If she doesn't believe something to be true, no amount of heated discussions nor forced Church attendance will do any good, but rather turn her against you and your beliefs.
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« Reply #28 on: January 18, 2010, 09:09:19 PM »

As others said, let her find her way.  If she doesn't believe something to be true, no amount of heated discussions nor forced Church attendance will do any good, but rather turn her against you and your beliefs.
What if her daughter refused to not cook meth or refused to not inject heroin?

In parenting, some things are non-negotiable.  Kids must go to church and follow Christ’s teachings. They must go to school and study. They must stay away from drugs and sex.  They must do their share of chores.  Parents can negotiate with kids on small issues.

Marina, Go talk with your priest and many parents in your church.  If you give in on this issue, you will find that your daughter will demand that you give in on many other issues. Remember that you are the parent.
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« Reply #29 on: January 18, 2010, 09:15:18 PM »

If she doesn't believe something to be true, no amount of heated discussions nor forced Church attendance will do any good, but rather turn her against you and your beliefs.
And worse, you will make her a hypocrite.
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« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2010, 09:26:12 PM »

What if her daughter refused to not cook meth or refused to not inject heroin?

In parenting, some things are non-negotiable.  Kids must go to church and follow Christ’s teachings. They must go to school and study. They must stay away from drugs and sex.  They must do their share of chores.  Parents can negotiate with kids on small issues.

Marina, Go talk with your priest and many parents in your church.  If you give in on this issue, you will find that your daughter will demand that you give in on many other issues. Remember that you are the parent.

Well, we will probably never agree since while I agree children must go to school and study, I don't believe they have to go to Church.  If they believe Orthodoxy is bunk, believe Christianity is bunk or believe any sort of theism is bunk, it is up to them to find their spiritual path or lack there of.  If she doesn't believe that her mother's spiritual beliefs are true, she shouldn't have them forced down her throat.  Should she be respectful of them?  Of course, but there is no reason she should have to agree with them any more than she should have to conform to her parent's political beliefs.  Let her figure out who she is and what she believes.  If she chooses to look into Orthodoxy down the road, great; if she doesn't, great.
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« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2010, 09:28:50 PM »


My daughter literally hates everything to do with the Orthodox Religion.
She's moving out as soon as she graduates High School so I only have less than 3 more yrs to parent her & influence her.
What do I do?
I want her to fall in love with God and His Orthodox Faith. I've constantly prayed for her. I'm at a loss.
She just told the priest during Confession that she wants to be Catholic and he told her "No. Don't be Catholic." She doesn't know and has No desire to know the differences between the Churches.
She really wants to be Agnostic or a Protestant or Catholic...Anything but Orthodox.
As a single parent and the only member of our extended family who is Orthodox & we have no Orthodox friends that live on this side of the country - so no other influence...What do I do?

It would be better for her to be Romanist than Protestant or even nothing, that is if her interest in their church is legitimate and informed. If you can't get her to be Orthodox but she truly wants to be Romanist, I don't see any reason that should be avoided. Otherwise she'll probably just become entirely non-religious.
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« Reply #32 on: January 18, 2010, 09:29:18 PM »


Perhaps you could list some of her particular objections with Orthodoxy?

Good advice.
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« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2010, 09:30:12 PM »


Her response: It's stupid. It's boring. It's pointless. It's dumb. It's a waste of time. It takes to long. I can't understand it anyway even when it is chanted in English because everything is sung.

Perhaps you could list some of her particular objections with Orthodoxy?

Then her objections are strictly about the liturgical aspects?
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« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2010, 09:32:02 PM »


Show her some 'Death to the World' zines.

*gags*
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« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2010, 09:32:18 PM »

Marina,

If you don't share your religion with your child, someone else will.  Think about this.

None of the three previous posters that believe your daughter should stop attending church have ever raised teenagers.  Two of these posters are in their 20s.  Please contact your priest and other parents with teens in your church.  
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« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2010, 09:32:47 PM »


Show her some 'Death to the World' zines.

*gags*

laugh  I know what you mean.
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« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2010, 09:34:00 PM »

My rules that I learned from my parents-  If she lives in your house, eats your food, and uses your electricity, she follows your rules.  If the family goes to church, she should go to church with you....no exceptions.  You are the parent; be the parent.

As a 19-year-old rebellious guy I have to state it is the worst argument parents can use.
Too bad.  Smiley

So then you're not concerned with what is actually helpful to a child. Good to know.
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« Reply #38 on: January 18, 2010, 09:35:00 PM »

None of the three previous posters that believe your daughter should stop attending church have ever raised teenagers.  Two of these posters are in their 20s.

Exactly, so teenage years in this spiritually pluralistic world are still fresh in our minds.  Tongue
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« Reply #39 on: January 18, 2010, 09:49:34 PM »


Show her some 'Death to the World' zines.

*gags*

What's your issue with the "Death to the World" concept??
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« Reply #40 on: January 18, 2010, 09:55:29 PM »


Show her some 'Death to the World' zines.

*gags*

What's your issue with the "Death to the World" concept??

In the way it is currently manifest it appears borderline Gnostic.
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« Reply #41 on: January 18, 2010, 09:57:19 PM »

I think trying the authoritarian approach at this late stage could do more damage than good. There was a time when such approaches worked for the most part; to what success is debatable. But the days of bullying almost-adult offspring to tow the line seem to be long gone. If you keep your daughter temporarily in the Church by your will, what good is that? She will flee when she gets the chance, anyway. Faith is something that one acquires not has acquired for one. If you have laid the ground work, it's now up to your daughter to finish the building of her faith for herself. It might be her decision to do that in the Catholic or some Protestant Church. But I have the feeling that she might be simply testing you to see your reaction.

edit: And I should add that I have brought up three children to make their own decisions. When they didn't wish to attend Church, I respected their decisions. All three are Christians. Now I watch as grandchildren go through the same stages, hopefully to always return to the faith of their childhood. It's not certain; it never will be, but they will always have someone praying for them and loving them unconditionally - no matter what they do!
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« Reply #42 on: January 18, 2010, 10:00:52 PM »

In parenting, some things are non-negotiable.  Kids must go to church and follow Christ’s teachings. They must go to school and study. They must stay away from drugs and sex.  They must do their share of chores.  Parents can negotiate with kids on small issues.

So you think that going to the Church forced is better that not going, don't you?
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« Reply #43 on: January 18, 2010, 10:13:30 PM »

None of the three previous posters that believe your daughter should stop attending church have ever raised teenagers.  Two of these posters are in their 20s.

Exactly, so teenage years in this spiritually pluralistic world are still fresh in our minds.  Tongue
I also still have those memories.  I was a teenager in the 1960s, the free love and drugs generation.  As a my teenager, my sisters and I hated going to church. My parents forced us to attend DL while hung over or sometimes still wasted from partying Saturday night. We were always sulking, braless, wearing short, cropped tops with reeeeeally low hip huggers. My dad wouldn't comment on our outfits, but in front of the church he would hand us one of his huge, buttoned-down shirts.  If we didn't put it on, we were not allowed to see our friends the next weekend. We would reluctantly put on the huge shirts.  When we went off to college, we forgot about our church "trauma” and eventually returned to where we had learned about Christ.
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« Reply #44 on: January 18, 2010, 10:15:27 PM »

Ms. Hoorah, teenagers aren't normal kids. They are in the in-between stage, where there is much chaos. For a teenager, everything is experienced in a much heightened way. I KNOW this because I still remember my teen years, quite vividly. A normal person hates religion being forced upon them. A teenager will rage against such a force being put upon them, believe me! As OzGeorge has hinted, teens can smell hypocrisy ten miles away. Ms. Hoorah, you say you love your kids, but forcing Christ on them, when Christ NEVER did so during His life and after His resurrection, is the complete opposite of love.

The OP must trust that God is leading the way. Force should not be the means to the end she seeks. Gentleness and patience will go much farther.

Btw, her teenager won't automatically view her as a push-over when it comes to other matters. Not all teens are so manipulative. The thought might cross her mind, as it sometimes does during the rebellious years, but if it does, the OP needs to show her she won't budge on some things.
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« Reply #45 on: January 18, 2010, 10:21:55 PM »

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
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« Reply #46 on: January 18, 2010, 10:22:44 PM »

None of the three previous posters that believe your daughter should stop attending church have ever raised teenagers.  

I disagree. I raised myself during my teen years, and they still haven't worn off completely! My mother didn't want to have anything to do with me, and my father was too busy working to look after me. I was a latch-key kid living in my father's house. I have raised a teenager--myself! I don't feel I did too great a job, and I feel you can see some of that evidence in how I used to act around here, but I know well how much young people seek out God. You can't force something as important as religion on a young person because it's sometimes like trying to force a cork in an active volcano. You may have turned out alright, but one size does not fit all. I went to catholic school, where religion was forced on me. It drove me to Paganism. If it had not been forced on me, but instead was encouraged with gentleness, kindness and patience, my spiritual life might not have been so chaotic.
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« Reply #47 on: January 18, 2010, 10:31:36 PM »

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

I'm sure that verse was very wise and applicable when it was given, when there was what amounted to a theocratic government, and a culture which would ostracize and punish you (possibly even being put to death) for spiritual rebellion and "going after strange gods". Things have changed a bit since then...
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« Reply #48 on: January 18, 2010, 10:36:26 PM »

It's a normal part of human development to branch out in your teen years and begin to develop independence- this often manifests itself in rejection of the norms and values under which one was raised. I've seen parents who force their teenagers to accept church life at this stage, only to have their teens resent their parents for years to come and equate the authoritarianism of their parents with a cruel, authoritarian God. I've known plenty of young women in their 20s who, raised in this type of environment, completely abandoned their parents' path and turn to drugs and ardent atheism. Fact is, you can't train someone to love God in this type of fearful environment.

The whole "you live under my roof, I feed you, I clothe you, you will accept all of my rules, etc. etc." mentality is so strange and foreign to me. I've never known it to create anything other than mistrust, fear, and sometimes hatred.

I'd be interested to know when the OP and her daughter converted to Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #49 on: January 18, 2010, 10:39:02 PM »

When something as important as religion and spirituality is forced on teens, it can make them feel that you don't care what they're going through. Kinda like "It's MY way, so shut up and follow!" Young people have enough chaos to figure out without having something so private as religion being shoved at them. Maybe the OP knows better than her daughter, but it's her daughter that largely needs to figure these things out for herself, with her mother and loved ones guiding her, not forcing her.
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« Reply #50 on: January 18, 2010, 10:39:12 PM »

What if her daughter refused to not cook meth or refused to not inject heroin?

In parenting, some things are non-negotiable.  Kids must go to church and follow Christ’s teachings. They must go to school and study. They must stay away from drugs and sex.  They must do their share of chores.  Parents can negotiate with kids on small issues.

Marina, Go talk with your priest and many parents in your church.  If you give in on this issue, you will find that your daughter will demand that you give in on many other issues. Remember that you are the parent.

Well, we will probably never agree since while I agree children must go to school and study, I don't believe they have to go to Church.  If they believe Orthodoxy is bunk, believe Christianity is bunk or believe any sort of theism is bunk, it is up to them to find their spiritual path or lack there of.  If she doesn't believe that her mother's spiritual beliefs are true, she shouldn't have them forced down her throat.  Should she be respectful of them?  Of course, but there is no reason she should have to agree with them any more than she should have to conform to her parent's political beliefs.  Let her figure out who she is and what she believes.  If she chooses to look into Orthodoxy down the road, great; if she doesn't, great.
My son loves going to church but hates going to school. One year, he missed 20 days of school with fake illnesses. Children don't know what is best. When they are adults they can then choose to decide if they want to go to church or not.
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« Reply #51 on: January 18, 2010, 10:46:31 PM »

Maybe in the case of the original poster, she may need to find a different Orthodox Church. My nephews would rather attend the Orthodox parish we attend for various reasons. Maybe the parish is too focused on ethnicity. The priest may be out of touch with young people. The right parish can make the difference. My children beg us to take them to church.
Public school, on the other hand, leaves a bad taste in their mouth. The boy's Catholic school for my older son is a much better fit.

The best type of Orthodox parish is the parish that is actively helping the less fortunate. It is not enough just to attend Divine Liturgy. We receive from Christ on Sunday and then we must find a way to take what we have been given to help those around us in a variety of ways.
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« Reply #52 on: January 18, 2010, 10:54:06 PM »

Oddly enough, I think Brigham Young University is onto something!

http://education.byu.edu/youcandothis/church_kids_dont_want_to_go.html

Some nice excerpts:

"Children will be more likely to return to full religious activity if they feel loved and supported--regardless of their choice to attend church or not.
Ultimately the choice to return has to be their own. If our children are not receiving the positive influences the church has to offer, the positive influence of family becomes that much more important."

"Think of yourself as a missionary called to convert your child. Think of tactics a missionary would use: building a relationship of trust, inviting consistently, praying together, and so on. Think also of tactics a missionary wouldn’t use: forcing, bribing, or coercing."
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« Reply #53 on: January 18, 2010, 11:00:19 PM »

I've loving and praying for her for years.

I've been trying to instill the Faith in her since our conversion to Orthodoxy.


This particularly caught my attention.  You wrote "since our conversion".  May I ask how old your daughter was at the time, please?  Was she interested in converting (from what if anything?) at the time and since then her erm.. excitement/devotion has faded? Was she willing at the time? Or was it that you converted and brought her along?  Were there significant changes in her life besides going to an EO church such as a move, or loss of relationships with others or changes in home life?  

I am not trying to be nosy, I assure you.  There could be some other parts of her life that are/have been affected.

We have three kids including 2 teenagers (16 and 13) so I have some experience with how they work/think sometimes.

Ebor
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« Reply #54 on: January 18, 2010, 11:06:30 PM »

^I agree with Tamara's statement that children do not know what is best for them. I also agree that the OP's child might be happier at another parish.  Perhaps one with more teens.  

Setting a rule that our family goes to church (because we need to thank and worship our very good God) is not in any way abusive. Removing privileges for refusing to go to church is also not abusive. 
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« Reply #55 on: January 18, 2010, 11:15:05 PM »

^I agree with Tamara's statement that children do not know what is best for them. I also agree that the OP's child might be happier at another parish.  Perhaps one with more teens.  

Setting a rule that our family goes to church (because we need to thank and worship our very good God) is not in any way abusive. Removing privileges for refusing to go to church is also not abusive. 

And you think this will lead your child to love God and you more?
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« Reply #56 on: January 18, 2010, 11:16:53 PM »

My son loves going to church but hates going to school. One year, he missed 20 days of school with fake illnesses. Children don't know what is best. When they are adults they can then choose to decide if they want to go to church or not.
I don't see physically visiting a parish as an essential part of a child's upbringing, while I believe schooling is.  If they wish to and are excited to go to Church, great; but if they don't want to go to Church or don't share the faith of their parents, I don't believe they should be forced to go.
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« Reply #57 on: January 18, 2010, 11:18:54 PM »

^I agree with Tamara's statement that children do not know what is best for them. I also agree that the OP's child might be happier at another parish.  Perhaps one with more teens.  

Setting a rule that our family goes to church (because we need to thank and worship our very good God) is not in any way abusive. Removing privileges for refusing to go to church is also not abusive. 

And you think this will lead your child to love God and you more?
Parenting is tough work.  Your child is not always going to enjoy or love what you need to do as a parent. 
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« Reply #58 on: January 18, 2010, 11:25:29 PM »

I've loving and praying for her for years.

I've been trying to instill the Faith in her since our conversion to Orthodoxy.


This particularly caught my attention.  You wrote "since our conversion".  May I ask how old your daughter was at the time, please?  Was she interested in converting (from what if anything?) at the time and since then her erm.. excitement/devotion has faded? Was she willing at the time? Or was it that you converted and brought her along?  Were there significant changes in her life besides going to an EO church such as a move, or loss of relationships with others or changes in home life?  

I am not trying to be nosy, I assure you.  There could be some other parts of her life that are/have been affected.

We have three kids including 2 teenagers (16 and 13) so I have some experience with how they work/think sometimes.

Ebor
Ebor is asking about displaced feelings, perhaps anger.  It is none of our business, but you might want to evaluate if your daughter's hatred of the Church is displaced anger or a displaced hatred of some other event/object in which you are involved.
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« Reply #59 on: January 18, 2010, 11:28:10 PM »

In a way, I think it's even more important to be gentle with our approach with Church, whereas we can be quite forceful about schooling. It's the law, after all. And really, most of us end up hating school; if we didn't start out that way. But as long as we learned while we were there so that we could make informed decisions about our futures and further education. However, should we risk forcing the issue with Church in the same way, to have someone end up hating Church even more. Isn't this situation a little more far reaching? Our children need to know that we are there when they need us, and need us they so often do in those later teenage years. But if we have created a wedge between us regarding faith matters, who do they turn to when they need someone sensible, if they resent and perhaps hate us for forcing something they should be left to decide for themselves?

BTW, is someone of 15 years old still a child?
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« Reply #60 on: January 18, 2010, 11:28:57 PM »

^I agree with Tamara's statement that children do not know what is best for them. I also agree that the OP's child might be happier at another parish.  Perhaps one with more teens.  

Setting a rule that our family goes to church (because we need to thank and worship our very good God) is not in any way abusive. Removing privileges for refusing to go to church is also not abusive. 

And you think this will lead your child to love God and you more?
Parenting is tough work.  Your child is not always going to enjoy or love what you need to do as a parent. 


This presupposes that the parent has a correct understanding of what the child should be doing. Good luck.
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« Reply #61 on: January 18, 2010, 11:31:21 PM »

My rules that I learned from my parents-  If she lives in your house, eats your food, and uses your electricity, she follows your rules.  If the family goes to church, she should go to church with you....no exceptions.  You are the parent; be the parent.

As a 19-year-old rebellious guy I have to state it is the worst argument parents can use.

I think Ms. Hoorah's point is that obedience to one's parents is not up for argument or debate.

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« Reply #62 on: January 18, 2010, 11:33:13 PM »

^I agree with Tamara's statement that children do not know what is best for them. I also agree that the OP's child might be happier at another parish.  Perhaps one with more teens.  

Setting a rule that our family goes to church (because we need to thank and worship our very good God) is not in any way abusive. Removing privileges for refusing to go to church is also not abusive. 

And you think this will lead your child to love God and you more?
Parenting is tough work.  Your child is not always going to enjoy or love what you need to do as a parent. 


This presupposes that the parent has a correct understanding of what the child should be doing. Good luck.

Desiring the spiritual wellfare of our children indicates a "correct understanding" in my opinion.

Selam
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« Reply #63 on: January 18, 2010, 11:35:00 PM »

Quote
BTW, is someone of 15 years old still a child?

I think that's a good question. I don't know about other countries and cultures, but here in America people start being allowed important responsibilities in their teens. Someone can join the military at age 17, get a drivers license at age 16, etc. I started working summer jobs at age 14, and was sometimes responsible for my own transportation for getting to the jobs (usually a bike). Obviously each person is going to mature differently, but I wouldn't normally think of a 15 year old as a child any longer.
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« Reply #64 on: January 18, 2010, 11:37:07 PM »

^I agree with Tamara's statement that children do not know what is best for them. I also agree that the OP's child might be happier at another parish.  Perhaps one with more teens.  

Setting a rule that our family goes to church (because we need to thank and worship our very good God) is not in any way abusive. Removing privileges for refusing to go to church is also not abusive. 

And you think this will lead your child to love God and you more?
Parenting is tough work.  Your child is not always going to enjoy or love what you need to do as a parent. 


This presupposes that the parent has a correct understanding of what the child should be doing. Good luck.

Desiring the spiritual wellfare of our children indicates a "correct understanding" in my opinion.

Selam

Pat Robertson's idea of "spiritual welfare"? The Branch Dividians' idea of "spiritual welfare"? A hardline, fear-filled "Orthodox" understanding of "spiritual welfare"?   Serious mistakes can be made despite good intentions.
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« Reply #65 on: January 18, 2010, 11:42:54 PM »

Quote
BTW, is someone of 15 years old still a child?

I think that's a good question. I don't know about other countries and cultures, but here in America people start being allowed important responsibilities in their teens. Someone can join the military at age 17, get a drivers license at age 16, etc. I started working summer jobs at age 14, and was sometimes responsible for my own transportation for getting to the jobs (usually a bike). Obviously each person is going to mature differently, but I wouldn't normally think of a 15 year old as a child any longer.

Yes, I was thinking that by that age one would be facing the stage that they were going to have to respect another *person's* decisions; not "their child's". Just because someone is our offspring doesn't mean that they are going to always see eye to eye with us --- if only!!  laugh We can train them so far and then we have to let them take over, learning to walk on their own - and perhaps making distastrous decisions in the process. But isn't that all part of life? I can't agree with the "you live under my roof, you do as I say" approach. At some point one has to recognise that there is another thinking person in the relationship. 
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« Reply #66 on: January 18, 2010, 11:46:13 PM »

Desiring the spiritual wellfare of our children indicates a "correct understanding" in my opinion.

Selam

A Protestant parent likely has their child's spiritual welfare in mind, but would likely have the same reaction if their child said they hated Protestantism and was looking into Orthodoxy.  Of course, that child would, on this forum, not be told to obey their parents without question and stick with their family's faith, but rather to respect their parents while travelling towards the "True Faith" and not be discouraged if their parents protest.  Maybe she doesn't view Orthodoxy as the Truth, in which case, she shouldn't be expected to submit to it nor be discouraged from finding her own spiritually beneficial path (which may lead back to Orthodoxy or not).
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« Reply #67 on: January 18, 2010, 11:46:47 PM »

Marina,

First of all, my prayers are with you. There are no easy answers or easy solutions. We can all offer you good advice and sound biblical principles, but only God really knows the situation with your daughter.

A couple of thoughts:

1) Ask your Priest if he knows of some people your daughter's age who embrace their faith and could be a positive influence on her. At her age, I am guessing that she is more open to what her peers say than to what those in "authority" have to say.

2) Try not to make Church seem like a chore or punishment. Catechize her as best you can. We hate what we do not understand, and thereby we become prejudiced towards it. Start with simple things like the homily. Discuss the Priest's homilies with her, and do so by applying the message to you, not to her. This will help her to see you less as an authority figure trying to tell her what to do, and more as a person who also struggles with sin and the problems of life themselves. Over time she will come to realize that Orthodoxy is not something you are forcing on her, but rather something you deeply desire to share with her.

But I would nevertheless remain firm in your role as a parent. She will have plenty of time when she leaves your home to "discover herself." But she is still your child now, and she needs abundant love and consistent discipline.

You may want to try doing something fun every Sunday after Church. Take her out to lunch or for coffe or ice cream. Take her to a movie, or whatever. This will help your daughter to associate Church with your love for her and your desire to spend time with her. Eventually I believe she will begin to view Church in a positive manner.

Above all, have faith and hope in God. Smiley

Selam

 
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« Reply #68 on: January 18, 2010, 11:49:40 PM »

Desiring the spiritual wellfare of our children indicates a "correct understanding" in my opinion.

Selam

A Protestant parent likely has their child's spiritual welfare in mind, but would likely have the same reaction if their child said they hated Protestantism and was looking into Orthodoxy.  Of course, that child would, on this forum, not be told to obey their parents without question and stick with their family's faith, but rather to respect their parents while travelling towards the "True Faith" and not be discouraged if their parents protest.  Maybe she doesn't view Orthodoxy as the Truth, in which case, she shouldn't be expected to submit to it nor be discouraged from finding her own spiritually beneficial path (which may lead back to Orthodoxy or not).

I agree.

Selam
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« Reply #69 on: January 18, 2010, 11:52:13 PM »

Desiring the spiritual wellfare of our children indicates a "correct understanding" in my opinion.

Selam

A Protestant parent likely has their child's spiritual welfare in mind, but would likely have the same reaction if their child said they hated Protestantism and was looking into Orthodoxy.  Of course, that child would, on this forum, not be told to obey their parents without question and stick with their family's faith, but rather to respect their parents while travelling towards the "True Faith" and not be discouraged if their parents protest.  Maybe she doesn't view Orthodoxy as the Truth, in which case, she shouldn't be expected to submit to it nor be discouraged from finding her own spiritually beneficial path (which may lead back to Orthodoxy or not).

Exactly!!!
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« Reply #70 on: January 18, 2010, 11:52:36 PM »

So...at what age are you guys going to let your offspring decide if they want to go to school? At what age do they not need to follow your rules and they can start a meth lab in the basement?
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« Reply #71 on: January 18, 2010, 11:55:00 PM »

So...at what age are you guys going to let your offspring decide if they want to go to school? At what age do they not need to follow your rules and they can start a meth lab in the basement?

There's a color you should look into-  gray. It lies somewhere between turning tricks for meth and achieving theosis.
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« Reply #72 on: January 18, 2010, 11:56:30 PM »

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.


Things have changed a bit since then...

"Things" have changed, but people haven't.  Consider it axiomatic that this verse, given to us by our Lord, still remains true.  We still suffer the consequences of the Fall.  

But let me speak to this verse on a more personal level.  I was raised a Christian, did the rebellion thing (converting to Islam for ten years!!).  Glory to God, I have returned, the Prodigal son, back into the arms of Christ and His Church.  But, before that, I too was bored to death with Christianity until I just couldn't stomach it any longer and said goodbye.  I owe it to my parents for instilling Christianity in me.  
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« Reply #73 on: January 18, 2010, 11:58:16 PM »

So...at what age are you guys going to let your offspring decide if they want to go to school? At what age do they not need to follow your rules and they can start a meth lab in the basement?

Education is compulsory to some age. Drug manufacturing is illegal. Being an agnostic is not.
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« Reply #74 on: January 18, 2010, 11:59:54 PM »

So...at what age are you guys going to let your offspring decide if they want to go to school?

Like if they want to drop out of school and tour the U.S. in a rock band or something? Probably 16. Maybe 17 if the band doesn't have a capable front man.

Quote
At what age do they not need to follow your rules and they can start a meth lab in the basement?

I don't have a basement.
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« Reply #75 on: January 19, 2010, 12:03:46 AM »

^Haha....we will see.  You have darling little girls.  You will be protective!
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« Reply #76 on: January 19, 2010, 12:09:28 AM »

My son loves going to church but hates going to school. One year, he missed 20 days of school with fake illnesses. Children don't know what is best. When they are adults they can then choose to decide if they want to go to church or not.
I don't see physically visiting a parish as an essential part of a child's upbringing, while I believe schooling is.  If they wish to and are excited to go to Church, great; but if they don't want to go to Church or don't share the faith of their parents, I don't believe they should be forced to go.
I would disagree. Attending Church is vital to the spiritual development of your child. Receiving the Holy gifts is essential to spiritual growth. Schooling is not essential in the same way as spiritual development. Spiritual development is a gift that you have with you through eternity while schooling is only necessary for our earthly life. Anyway, according to your line of thought if a parent forces a child to go to school against his will, how does that help him to love it? Why force one thing but not the other? Anyway, force is not necessary if you use the right parental tactics in either case.
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« Reply #77 on: January 19, 2010, 12:31:45 AM »

I would disagree. Attending Church is vital to the spiritual development of your child. Receiving the Holy gifts is essential to spiritual growth. Schooling is not essential in the same way as spiritual development. Spiritual development is a gift that you have with you through eternity while schooling is only necessary for our earthly life.
Well, we are always going to disagree on this.  I believe someone can develop spiritually outside of an established Church.  I find looking up into the cosmos on a clear night to be more of a 'religious experience' than any Liturgy or Mass.

Anyway, according to your line of thought if a parent forces a child to go to school against his will, how does that help him to love it? Why force one thing but not the other? Anyway, force is not necessary if you use the right parental tactics in either case.
No, the State forces a child to attend school until a certain age, whether the parents agree or not.  I view schooling as essential, but if at the legal drop-out age they choose to do so, by law, they have every right to.  The State also protects the freedom of conscience and religion and the freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression.  If the individual does not adhere to nor believe a certain faith is True, they are protected by the State to pursue and express whatever faith or lack of faith they choose.
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« Reply #78 on: January 19, 2010, 12:37:27 AM »

I would disagree. Attending Church is vital to the spiritual development of your child. Receiving the Holy gifts is essential to spiritual growth. Schooling is not essential in the same way as spiritual development. Spiritual development is a gift that you have with you through eternity while schooling is only necessary for our earthly life.
Well, we are always going to disagree on this.  I believe someone can develop spiritually outside of an established Church.  I find looking up into the cosmos on a clear night to be more of a 'religious experience' than any Liturgy or Mass.
Are you an Orthodox Christian or another type of Christian? If you are not, why are you replying to an Orthodox Christian mother who is asking for advice from other Christians? Just wondering?

Anyway, according to your line of thought if a parent forces a child to go to school against his will, how does that help him to love it? Why force one thing but not the other? Anyway, force is not necessary if you use the right parental tactics in either case.
Quote
No, the State forces a child to attend school until a certain age, whether the parents agree or not.  I view schooling as essential, but if at the legal drop-out age they choose to do so, by law, they have every right to.  The State also protects the freedom of conscience and religion and the freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression.  If the individual does not adhere to nor believe a certain faith is True, they are protected by the State to pursue and express whatever faith or lack of faith they choose.

Yes, the state forces you to go school just as parents have it within their legal right as parents to bring their children to church until the child is of legal age.
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« Reply #79 on: January 19, 2010, 12:42:32 AM »

Dear Marina,

You have to realize that some of the advice you will be receiving on this thread will be coming from posters who may or may not be Christian. Some may still be in the searching frame of mind but others may be happy with their agnostic beliefs. Keep that in mind when you read the threads.


To other posters on this thread:

And I think anyone who is going to give an Orthodox Christian mother religious advice should be honest about their own faith or lack of it so she can have a frame of reference when she ponders your comments.
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« Reply #80 on: January 19, 2010, 12:44:29 AM »

Dear Marina,

You have to realize that some of the advice you will be receiving on this thread will be coming from posters who may or may not be Christian. Some may still be in the searching frame of mind but others may be happy with their agnostic beliefs. Keep that in mind when you read the threads.


To other posters on this thread:

And I think anyone who is going to give an Orthodox Christian mother religious advice should be honest about their own faith or lack of it so she can have a frame of reference when she ponders your comments.

Good point. I'm very Orthodox. Probably more Orthodox than Tamara. You should listen to me.
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« Reply #81 on: January 19, 2010, 12:48:13 AM »

I would disagree. Attending Church is vital to the spiritual development of your child. Receiving the Holy gifts is essential to spiritual growth. Schooling is not essential in the same way as spiritual development. Spiritual development is a gift that you have with you through eternity while schooling is only necessary for our earthly life.
Well, we are always going to disagree on this.  I believe someone can develop spiritually outside of an established Church.  I find looking up into the cosmos on a clear night to be more of a 'religious experience' than any Liturgy or Mass.
Are you a Wiccan?
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« Reply #82 on: January 19, 2010, 12:51:10 AM »

Dear Marina,

You have to realize that some of the advice you will be receiving on this thread will be coming from posters who may or may not be Christian. Some may still be in the searching frame of mind but others may be happy with their agnostic beliefs. Keep that in mind when you read the threads.


To other posters on this thread:

And I think anyone who is going to give an Orthodox Christian mother religious advice should be honest about their own faith or lack of it so she can have a frame of reference when she ponders your comments.

I know the OP's frame of reference; I am also a single parent, albeit not of a teenaged child nor am I a convert to Orthodox Christianity.  If other posters are single parents, regardless of faith belief, they are entitled to their opinions as long as they are respectful and not malicious per the forum rules.   police
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« Reply #83 on: January 19, 2010, 01:02:12 AM »

Are you an Orthodox Christian or another type of Christian? If you are not, why are you replying to an Orthodox Christian mother who is asking for advice from other Christians? Just wondering?
On paper, I suppose I'm still a Roman Catholic.  A Christian, I'd say so, though I am sure others will disagree.  Currently alternating attendance between an Orthodox parish, an Roman Catholic parish and an Anglican parish though my time to do so is sparse.  Until I have a better label, maybe Christian humanist is best?

Yes, the state forces you to go school just as parents have it within their legal right as parents to bring their children to church until the child is of legal age.
And a child has a Charter-protected right to choose their beliefs and faith.  A parent can drag a child to Church if they wish, but they have no right to try and bludgeon them into believing something they openly choose not to.

Are you a Wiccan?
Not at all.  I just truly relate to Fr. Alexander Men when he said, "I find more meaning in the wing of a bird and in the branch of a tree than in five hundred icons..."  I find the natural world (especially space) to be an amazing source of beauty, inspiration, meaning and peace.
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« Reply #84 on: January 19, 2010, 01:09:19 AM »

I would disagree. Attending Church is vital to the spiritual development of your child. Receiving the Holy gifts is essential to spiritual growth. Schooling is not essential in the same way as spiritual development. Spiritual development is a gift that you have with you through eternity while schooling is only necessary for our earthly life.
Well, we are always going to disagree on this.  I believe someone can develop spiritually outside of an established Church.  I find looking up into the cosmos on a clear night to be more of a 'religious experience' than any Liturgy or Mass.
Are you a Wiccan?

What does it matter? One doesn't have to be Pagan for nature to touch one's soul more than liturgy.
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« Reply #85 on: January 19, 2010, 01:11:30 AM »

Are you an Orthodox Christian or another type of Christian? If you are not, why are you replying to an Orthodox Christian mother who is asking for advice from other Christians? Just wondering?
On paper, I suppose I'm still a Roman Catholic.  A Christian, I'd say so, though I am sure others will disagree.  Currently alternating attendance between an Orthodox parish, an Roman Catholic parish and an Anglican parish though my time to do so is sparse.  Until I have a better label, maybe Christian humanist is best?

Yes, the state forces you to go school just as parents have it within their legal right as parents to bring their children to church until the child is of legal age.

And a child has a Charter-protected right to choose their beliefs and faith.  A parent can drag a child to Church if they wish, but they have no right to try and bludgeon them into believing something they openly choose not to.

Are you a Wiccan?
Not at all.  I just truly relate to Fr. Alexander Men when he said, "I find more meaning in the wing of a bird and in the branch of a tree than in five hundred icons..."  I find the natural world (especially space) to be an amazing source of beauty, inspiration, meaning and peace.
Many feel this way, but I hope that you and your offspring will "relate" more to the Holy Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ.
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« Reply #86 on: January 19, 2010, 01:12:46 AM »

Dear Marina,

You have to realize that some of the advice you will be receiving on this thread will be coming from posters who may or may not be Christian. Some may still be in the searching frame of mind but others may be happy with their agnostic beliefs. Keep that in mind when you read the threads.


To other posters on this thread:

And I think anyone who is going to give an Orthodox Christian mother religious advice should be honest about their own faith or lack of it so she can have a frame of reference when she ponders your comments.

Good point. I'm very Orthodox. Probably more Orthodox than Tamara. You should listen to me.

This site is called: Orthodox Christianity.net
It is only fair to let the OP know if you believe in Christ or not if you want to give her advice on a spiritual problem.
She could go to any yahoo site and get all kinds of advice from a variety of philosophies if that is what she wanted but she came to an Orthodox Christian site in the Orthodox family forum with hopes of getting advice from other believers.
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« Reply #87 on: January 19, 2010, 01:14:07 AM »

Are you an Orthodox Christian or another type of Christian? If you are not, why are you replying to an Orthodox Christian mother who is asking for advice from other Christians? Just wondering?
On paper, I suppose I'm still a Roman Catholic.  A Christian, I'd say so, though I am sure others will disagree.  Currently alternating attendance between an Orthodox parish, an Roman Catholic parish and an Anglican parish though my time to do so is sparse.  Until I have a better label, maybe Christian humanist is best?

Yes, the state forces you to go school just as parents have it within their legal right as parents to bring their children to church until the child is of legal age.

And a child has a Charter-protected right to choose their beliefs and faith.  A parent can drag a child to Church if they wish, but they have no right to try and bludgeon them into believing something they openly choose not to.

Are you a Wiccan?
Not at all.  I just truly relate to Fr. Alexander Men when he said, "I find more meaning in the wing of a bird and in the branch of a tree than in five hundred icons..."  I find the natural world (especially space) to be an amazing source of beauty, inspiration, meaning and peace.
Many feel this way, but I hope that you and your offspring will "relate" more to the Holy Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ.

Those things are meaningless without the idea of the world being created as essentially good.
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« Reply #88 on: January 19, 2010, 01:19:51 AM »

Are you an Orthodox Christian or another type of Christian? If you are not, why are you replying to an Orthodox Christian mother who is asking for advice from other Christians? Just wondering?
On paper, I suppose I'm still a Roman Catholic.  A Christian, I'd say so, though I am sure others will disagree.  Currently alternating attendance between an Orthodox parish, an Roman Catholic parish and an Anglican parish though my time to do so is sparse.  Until I have a better label, maybe Christian humanist is best?

Yes, the state forces you to go school just as parents have it within their legal right as parents to bring their children to church until the child is of legal age.

And a child has a Charter-protected right to choose their beliefs and faith.  A parent can drag a child to Church if they wish, but they have no right to try and bludgeon them into believing something they openly choose not to.

Are you a Wiccan?
Not at all.  I just truly relate to Fr. Alexander Men when he said, "I find more meaning in the wing of a bird and in the branch of a tree than in five hundred icons..."  I find the natural world (especially space) to be an amazing source of beauty, inspiration, meaning and peace.
Many feel this way, but I hope that you and your offspring will "relate" more to the Holy Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ.

Those things are meaningless without the idea of the world being created as essentially good.

Why is that?
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« Reply #89 on: January 19, 2010, 01:21:30 AM »

Many feel this way, but I hope that you and your offspring will "relate" more to the Holy Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ.

Do you think agnostics (I'm not posting about anyone precisely) can take the Eucharist 'neither to their judgment, nor to their condemnation'? I doubt.
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« Reply #90 on: January 19, 2010, 01:25:36 AM »

Are you an Orthodox Christian or another type of Christian? If you are not, why are you replying to an Orthodox Christian mother who is asking for advice from other Christians? Just wondering?
On paper, I suppose I'm still a Roman Catholic.  A Christian, I'd say so, though I am sure others will disagree.  Currently alternating attendance between an Orthodox parish, an Roman Catholic parish and an Anglican parish though my time to do so is sparse.  Until I have a better label, maybe Christian humanist is best?

Yes, the state forces you to go school just as parents have it within their legal right as parents to bring their children to church until the child is of legal age.

And a child has a Charter-protected right to choose their beliefs and faith.  A parent can drag a child to Church if they wish, but they have no right to try and bludgeon them into believing something they openly choose not to.

Are you a Wiccan?
Not at all.  I just truly relate to Fr. Alexander Men when he said, "I find more meaning in the wing of a bird and in the branch of a tree than in five hundred icons..."  I find the natural world (especially space) to be an amazing source of beauty, inspiration, meaning and peace.
Many feel this way, but I hope that you and your offspring will "relate" more to the Holy Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ.

Those things are meaningless without the idea of the world being created as essentially good.

Why is that?

Because Christ sacrificed himself "for the life of the world". He came to restore our sacramental relationship with a world that was created good. Or, as Fr. Schmemann says, "in Christ, life-life in all its totality-was returned to man, given again as sacrament and communion, made Eucharist." We approach the Eucharist to commune with God, and for communion and wholeness with all his creation.
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« Reply #91 on: January 19, 2010, 01:29:48 AM »

I've loving and praying for her for years.

I've been trying to instill the Faith in her since our conversion to Orthodoxy.


This particularly caught my attention.  You wrote "since our conversion".  May I ask how old your daughter was at the time, please?  Was she interested in converting (from what if anything?) at the time and since then her erm.. excitement/devotion has faded? Was she willing at the time? Or was it that you converted and brought her along?  Were there significant changes in her life besides going to an EO church such as a move, or loss of relationships with others or changes in home life?  

I am not trying to be nosy, I assure you.  There could be some other parts of her life that are/have been affected.

We have three kids including 2 teenagers (16 and 13) so I have some experience with how they work/think sometimes.

Ebor
Ebor is asking about displaced feelings, perhaps anger.  It is none of our business, but you might want to evaluate if your daughter's hatred of the Church is displaced anger or a displaced hatred of some other event/object in which you are involved.

I was not thinking of that, actually, but with did Marina's daughter really want to convert of her own free will or did it happen when she was very young so had not say in it among other things.  There is also the possibility that it caused some disruption in her life. Perhaps that would be partly "displaced feelings" but changes in childrens' lives can cause problems besides just feelings. 

Ebor
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« Reply #92 on: January 19, 2010, 01:30:04 AM »

Are you an Orthodox Christian or another type of Christian? If you are not, why are you replying to an Orthodox Christian mother who is asking for advice from other Christians? Just wondering?
On paper, I suppose I'm still a Roman Catholic.  A Christian, I'd say so, though I am sure others will disagree.  Currently alternating attendance between an Orthodox parish, an Roman Catholic parish and an Anglican parish though my time to do so is sparse.  Until I have a better label, maybe Christian humanist is best?

Yes, the state forces you to go school just as parents have it within their legal right as parents to bring their children to church until the child is of legal age.

And a child has a Charter-protected right to choose their beliefs and faith.  A parent can drag a child to Church if they wish, but they have no right to try and bludgeon them into believing something they openly choose not to.

Are you a Wiccan?
Not at all.  I just truly relate to Fr. Alexander Men when he said, "I find more meaning in the wing of a bird and in the branch of a tree than in five hundred icons..."  I find the natural world (especially space) to be an amazing source of beauty, inspiration, meaning and peace.
Many feel this way, but I hope that you and your offspring will "relate" more to the Holy Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ.

Those things are meaningless without the idea of the world being created as essentially good.

Why is that?

Because Christ sacrificed himself "for the life of the world". He came to restore our sacramental relationship with a world that was created good. Or, as Fr. Schmemann says, "in Christ, life-life in all its totality-was returned to man, given again as sacrament and communion, made Eucharist." We approach the Eucharist to commune with God, and for communion and wholeness with all his creation.

Alright. I didn't doubt that you had legitimate reasoning for what you were saying. I just couldn't connect the dots in my head by myself.
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« Reply #93 on: January 19, 2010, 02:12:12 AM »

My advice?

Ignore the advice on this forum, and speak with your priest since he is your daughter's Spiritual Father, knows your daughter, knows you, and can actually offer advice that is relevant to the situation.
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« Reply #94 on: January 19, 2010, 03:27:29 AM »

Thank you everyone for your advise.

I think what I will do is sit down my favorite (and only) daughter down and let her know that I am hearing what she's been saying to me about the Orthodox Faith and her discontentment and that my decision considering she is growing up and soon to be an adult as well as my duty as her parent is that she will continue coming to Vespers/Confession but only once a month, that she will continue going to Divine Liturgy every Sunday, but only to the Russian Church once a month (my spiritual father had requested that we attend his parish for a while so kinda have to), but that out of all the Orthodox parishes in the area she can choose which one we will attend all the other Sundays of the month. This, I believe should be a happy median. I'll post how the decision is taken by her.
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« Reply #95 on: January 19, 2010, 05:07:18 AM »

Okay, just finished that conversation with her. She's not 100% happy as she says she'd prefer to exercise her freewill, but understands that this is a good compromise and even High 5'd me. She wants to pick the Orthodox Church that we will attend most of the time. She wants to first check out the OCA. She then asked me what it stood for and I told her and told her the history of it and then she surprised me by saying, "So I guess that's why history is important." I then asked her if she knew the goal of Christians. She thought it was just to get to Heaven and I was able to speak to her for a brief moment to explain Theosis. Hopefully a bit of it sunk in. Earlier in our conversation she repeated over and over that she was going to become baptized in the Catholic Church the day after she graduates High School and then asked me why we don't go to the Eastern Catholic Church. I told her cause we're Orthodox, but that after she graduates High School, if she Really, Really must become a Catholic, then to become an Eastern Catholic because at least then when she marries, she'll have both Rites of marriage, the exchanging of the rings and the Coranation and because when she has kids then at least, in addition to baptism, they will be able to be confirmed and receive Holy Eucharist as infants - these things are So very important. She agreed. Now there are like 3 more yrs. for her to grow spiritually and hopefully come to understand the importance of the Orthodox Faith. (I also agreed to allow her once every 2 months to attend Mass with her boyfriend & his family.)
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« Reply #96 on: January 19, 2010, 05:56:44 AM »

Good one, Marina!  Smiley
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« Reply #97 on: January 19, 2010, 06:02:50 AM »

This sounds like a good turn of events, at least compared to how the situation sounded like it was going to end up in the original post. Smiley I'm glad that you were able to work something out without things getting worse. I hope that as time passes she will grow in the direction that God leads. I'm sure many people who have seen this thread have added you and your daughter to their prayers.
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« Reply #98 on: January 19, 2010, 11:23:39 AM »

Okay, just finished that conversation with her.

First, I just wanted to say welcome to the forum!  I think the conversation you've had with your daughter was a good one.  You calmly gave her some options so she can exercise her free will while maintaining your wishes as a parent.  I don't have extensive experience with teenagers, but I know I was pretty strong-willed when I was 14-16 and I would have appreciated this approach.  The key, I believe, is letting your daughter have some control over the situation but not compromising your own beliefs and you seem to have accomplished that.  High five indeed!

Quote
Now there are like 3 more yrs. for her to grow spiritually and hopefully come to understand the importance of the Orthodox Faith. (I also agreed to allow her once every 2 months to attend Mass with her boyfriend & his family.)

Between the ages of 13 and 17, I wanted nothing to do with church either until I started dating a churchgoing boy and suddenly I wanted to go to church too.  Do you think this might have influence on her as well?
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« Reply #99 on: January 19, 2010, 12:28:00 PM »

Okay, just finished that conversation with her.

First, I just wanted to say welcome to the forum!  I think the conversation you've had with your daughter was a good one.  You calmly gave her some options so she can exercise her free will while maintaining your wishes as a parent.  I don't have extensive experience with teenagers, but I know I was pretty strong-willed when I was 14-16 and I would have appreciated this approach.  The key, I believe, is letting your daughter have some control over the situation but not compromising your own beliefs and you seem to have accomplished that.  High five indeed!

Quote
Now there are like 3 more yrs. for her to grow spiritually and hopefully come to understand the importance of the Orthodox Faith. (I also agreed to allow her once every 2 months to attend Mass with her boyfriend & his family.)

Between the ages of 13 and 17, I wanted nothing to do with church either until I started dating a churchgoing boy and suddenly I wanted to go to church too.  Do you think this minght have incluence on her as well?

Probably because when she was Catholic she Hated anything that was Catholic,  including her Catholic Youth Bible, but last night when we spoke she picked it up telling me that since she has a Catholic Bible, then she's Catholic...roll of the eyes...She also has an Orthodox Study Bible...whatever.

I hope are arrangement works out and lessens her bad attitude! :-)
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« Reply #100 on: January 19, 2010, 12:56:59 PM »

I may be overlooking something already covered, but: does the parish have youth programs?
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« Reply #101 on: January 19, 2010, 01:19:17 PM »

Aparrently I must be the only person in the world who never rebelled against the church. I must say that the my house, my rules, you will go to church even if by force worked for me. Of course I was attending church every Sunday from the day after I was baptized, so going to church was part of the normal routine on Sundays; It wasn't something extraordinary. This won't really work for older kids because they are more self aware and interested in making decisions. I do however think that:

A) You need to be at church, Orthodoxy cannot be found outside the church
B) You need to receive the Eucharist
C) Its not going to kill you to spend 2 hours on Sunday thanking God for the 2 hours you have Sunday night to watch tv or play video games.

Just my thoughts, as I have a 6 week old now, she will attend church every week from her baptism and I have no doubt it will be a normal part of the Sunday routine for her.

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« Reply #102 on: January 19, 2010, 02:50:04 PM »

I never rebelled against the church until I was well into college and even then it was half-hearted.  I went to Mass every Sunday and then some.  It was just something we did.  It wasn't even discussed.  Even my brother, who now hates anything that has to do with religion of any kind, went when it was obvious that he no longer believed; he, at least, had the decency to not go to communion, too.  He also never brought it up to my parents, either.  We were also never late and never left before the final hymn was sung and the priest was out the door and in the vestibule.

All this was due to my father and our fear/respect of his authority.  As I said, it was never even discussed.

That being said, I think forcing a teenager who has made a conscious decision to avoid religion to go to church will backfire.  I've seen it happen time and time again.  Making an eight year old who wants to sleep in get up and go to church is entirely different from a 16 year old who thinks that they no longer believe.  There is not, IMHO, some magical age where we can/should stop forcing children to "do the right thing" and respect the decision making of a young adult; it's more of "you'll know it when you see it" kind of situation. 

The most important aspect is to talk with one's older children about stuff like this, not to them and most certainly not at them.  The OP, I think, handled this well by having a conversation and asking questions and offering simple, honest answers.  I applaud her for her patience and diligence in working something out with her daughter. Smiley
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« Reply #103 on: February 05, 2010, 03:26:47 AM »

Quote
This is probably her reaction to anything that's not on MTV right now.  Don't take your teenager too seriously, because they sure don't take anything very seriously.

I don't mean to take this forum off track, but I seriously object to this statement.  I happen to be just under a month away from 16, yet I take many things seriously (such as religion).  I know many other people my age who take many things seriously.  I find your comment to be insulting.  You need to remember that the media portrayal of American teenagers (a term I really don't like, and in fact it and adolescence are artificial concepts that were created relatively recently) is almost always wrong.

Anyways, I only read the first few posts, and so this may have already been covered.  Your daughter is likely just trying to rebel against anything, she just happens to have picked the Church (likely because it is important to you and she is trying to forge her own identity).  I believe this is happening due to the fact that by the age she is at, she really ought to have an incredible amount of responsibility (a job, perhaps even living on her own with a husband - something that historically speaking would be happening, except the job part).  However, society has created an artificial stage between childhood and adulthood.  Speaking as someone close to her age, I think the best thing for you to do is to not push Orthodoxy onto her.  If you let her choose whether or not to go to Church, go to confession, go to communion, she probably won't at first.  However, she may soon.  On the other hand, if you try to force her to be Orthodox for the next three years, she may forever be gone from the Church once she hits 18. 

EDIT: Also remember that no matter how hard you try, you can never make someone believe something.  It may be that she legitimately does not believe in the Church.  If that is the case, forcing her to go will do absolutely nothing.

EDIT 2: Realized that I unintentionally quoted the post within the post I responded to.
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« Reply #104 on: February 05, 2010, 09:10:48 AM »

Just so I'm clear on the advise being given: I should continue to pray for her. I should Not take her to Church or encourage her to pray at all - just not say anything to her at all & not have her exposed to the Church & just hope and pray for the best. That somehow with Non-exposure she will fall in love with God and His Church?

Keep living your faith, if you are living your faith in the home (remember the home church, family prayer) she will be exposed.  Invite her to participate, but do not demand.  Do not try to guilt her into participating.  Always remain calm, peaceful and loving when inviting to participate, which must be real and genuine.  Always keep her in your prayers. 

What is happening with your daughter is not uncommon for any faith tradition, this is something you are not alone.  It is interesting how universal this situations is and how we fret over it, when in fact it may be an essential part of the healing.  To put it another way, it is like giving the person enough rope to hang themselves, and when they do, the experience breaks their self-will and they come back in repentance and a stronger faith.

Just some thoughts,
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« Reply #105 on: February 05, 2010, 10:44:11 AM »



I don't mean to take this forum off track, but I seriously object to this statement.  I happen to be just under a month away from 16, yet I take many things seriously (such as religion).  I know many other people my age who take many things seriously.  I find your comment to be insulting.  You need to remember that the media portrayal of American teenagers (a term I really don't like, and in fact it and adolescence are artificial concepts that were created relatively recently) is almost always wrong.

I absolutely understand that you may take religion and others things very seriously, but I think that you may be an exception to the rule. I have been teaching teenagers for five years and find that the vast majority behave just as the media portrays them, if not worse. They don't take any of the important stuff seriously and they take the very unimortant stuff very seriously. This is partly a function of their immaturity but also partly a function of the crap they are fed by our secular society. Perhaps you have developed your thinking skills. Perhaps you are more mature than your peers. But this does not change the fact that most teenagers are hardly functional.
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« Reply #106 on: February 05, 2010, 11:14:22 AM »

Most teens don't care about anything other than what's popular, yet claim they are individualist.  Fact is, they are bombarded with a hedonist atheistic society.  Not just on t.v. or music, but also in schools.  Many teachers and later on, professors, push their own opinions on students as fact.  It's common for a teenager to stray from religion anymore, but if they have at least a good foundation in the faith, later they will be able to separate fact from opinion.  As it's been said here, you can't force anyone to believe in anything.  Prayerfully, your daughter will come around and see how beneficial Orthodoxy is. This can only be if she is able to block out the message that organized religion is detrimental, which is rampant in our society.  Let her do as she believes she should, it will be appreciated later.
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« Reply #107 on: February 05, 2010, 01:21:38 PM »

Quote
I absolutely understand that you may take religion and others things very seriously, but I think that you may be an exception to the rule. I have been teaching teenagers for five years and find that the vast majority behave just as the media portrays them, if not worse. They don't take any of the important stuff seriously and they take the very unimortant stuff very seriously. This is partly a function of their immaturity but also partly a function of the crap they are fed by our secular society. Perhaps you have developed your thinking skills. Perhaps you are more mature than your peers. But this does not change the fact that most teenagers are hardly functional.

You know teenagers from teaching.  I know them as friends.  Teenagers do care about a lot of things, important things.  I have had conversations with friends my age about topics ranging from philosophy to religion to politics to history.  It isn't that young people don't care, it's that young people have been given a certain image of what's cool and what's not by the media.  Unfortunately, the media has portrayed intelligence and thinking as being uncool.  As such, many young people will - especially in school, ironically enough - tend to downplay their intelligence.  However, in a more relaxed and personal setting than a school (which tends to be a pressure cooker for young people due to it being essentially one great big popularity contest) many young people will show that they are bright, intelligent, and thoughtful including on the important topics in life.  This is not to say that all teenagers do care about anything important, many do not.  However, I can think of more than just a few adults, of all ages, who seem to think the most important thing in life is appearance.  I believe that far more teenagers would be amongst those who are responsible and thoughtful if not for the fact that society has created a situation in which young people are to have essentially no responsibility of any kind until they turn 18 (and for many, no responsibility until they are 21).  Young people are expected by society to act reckless and to not care about anything, and many are like that because of society's expectations.  It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

By the way, I reread my original post in this topic, and I realize the first part of it sounds much harsher than I meant it. 
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« Reply #108 on: February 05, 2010, 02:19:37 PM »

I don't mean to take this forum off track, but I seriously object to this statement.  I happen to be just under a month away from 16, yet I take many things seriously (such as religion).  I know many other people my age who take many things seriously.  I find your comment to be insulting.  You need to remember that the media portrayal of American teenagers (a term I really don't like, and in fact it and adolescence are artificial concepts that were created relatively recently) is almost always wrong.

Let me go ahead and apologize for being out of line and making such a sweeping and dismissive judgment of teenagers.  I can remember taking a lot of things seriously as a teenager.  It hasn't been that long.  I'm only 27.  Forgive me for an offense against you.
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« Reply #109 on: February 05, 2010, 02:37:20 PM »

Quote
I absolutely understand that you may take religion and others things very seriously, but I think that you may be an exception to the rule. I have been teaching teenagers for five years and find that the vast majority behave just as the media portrays them, if not worse. They don't take any of the important stuff seriously and they take the very unimortant stuff very seriously. This is partly a function of their immaturity but also partly a function of the crap they are fed by our secular society. Perhaps you have developed your thinking skills. Perhaps you are more mature than your peers. But this does not change the fact that most teenagers are hardly functional.

You know teenagers from teaching.  I know them as friends.  Teenagers do care about a lot of things, important things.  I have had conversations with friends my age about topics ranging from philosophy to religion to politics to history.  It isn't that young people don't care, it's that young people have been given a certain image of what's cool and what's not by the media.  Unfortunately, the media has portrayed intelligence and thinking as being uncool.  As such, many young people will - especially in school, ironically enough - tend to downplay their intelligence.  However, in a more relaxed and personal setting than a school (which tends to be a pressure cooker for young people due to it being essentially one great big popularity contest) many young people will show that they are bright, intelligent, and thoughtful including on the important topics in life.  This is not to say that all teenagers do care about anything important, many do not.  However, I can think of more than just a few adults, of all ages, who seem to think the most important thing in life is appearance.  I believe that far more teenagers would be amongst those who are responsible and thoughtful if not for the fact that society has created a situation in which young people are to have essentially no responsibility of any kind until they turn 18 (and for many, no responsibility until they are 21).  Young people are expected by society to act reckless and to not care about anything, and many are like that because of society's expectations.  It is a self-fulfilling prophecy.  

By the way, I reread my original post in this topic, and I realize the first part of it sounds much harsher than I meant it.  
Look kiddo, I am only twenty eight. I remember what it was like to be a teenager. Not only do I remember that, but I worked closely with teenagers in youth ministry for years. The fact of the matter is that because of all of the crap they have been fed, most of the things that they classify as "deep thinking" would qualify as shallow crap. They don't know the difference between right and wrong for the most part but only like and dislike. Now are there exceptions? Of Course. But again, those expeceptions are exterme outliers.
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« Reply #110 on: February 05, 2010, 03:13:32 PM »

I share the same experience of youth as Papist. And, btw, I'm 24.
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« Reply #111 on: February 05, 2010, 06:04:02 PM »

Quote
This is probably her reaction to anything that's not on MTV right now.  Don't take your teenager too seriously, because they sure don't take anything very seriously.

You need to remember that the media portrayal of American teenagers (a term I really don't like, and in fact it and adolescence are artificial concepts that were created relatively recently) is almost always wrong.

Adolescence is not an artificial concept. Scientific observations have shown that from the onset of puberty to roughly age 25 for girls and age 27 for boys, electrical activity at the pre-frontal cortex is reduced and the electrical activity at the parts of the brain that deal with emotions is increased. The problem is that the pre-frontal cortex is where we make rational decisions (weigh the risks and benefits, etc..). So, there are many critical health behaviors that are associated with adolescence, according to the CDC, that may imprint themselves on the adolescent mind and be a problem even later in life. These critical health behaviors include: alcohol, drug and tobacco use; violence; suicide, risky sexual behaviors; obesity; dropping out of school; underperforming in school, and delinquency. CDC did not include not going to Church and broadly rebelling against parental guidance/controls but I suspect that these are also the result of this condition that is called adolescence. It is true that some of us do better than others at this phase of our lives; there is no question however that we all undergo this organic development and that we all need adult guidance and supervision when we are undergoing this trial.
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« Reply #112 on: February 11, 2010, 11:04:02 AM »

Okay, just finished that conversation with her.

First, I just wanted to say welcome to the forum!  I think the conversation you've had with your daughter was a good one.  You calmly gave her some options so she can exercise her free will while maintaining your wishes as a parent.  I don't have extensive experience with teenagers, but I know I was pretty strong-willed when I was 14-16 and I would have appreciated this approach.  The key, I believe, is letting your daughter have some control over the situation but not compromising your own beliefs and you seem to have accomplished that.  High five indeed!

Quote
Now there are like 3 more yrs. for her to grow spiritually and hopefully come to understand the importance of the Orthodox Faith. (I also agreed to allow her once every 2 months to attend Mass with her boyfriend & his family.)

Between the ages of 13 and 17, I wanted nothing to do with church either until I started dating a churchgoing boy and suddenly I wanted to go to church too.  Do you think this minght have incluence on her as well?

Probably because when she was Catholic she Hated anything that was Catholic,  including her Catholic Youth Bible, but last night when we spoke she picked it up telling me that since she has a Catholic Bible, then she's Catholic...roll of the eyes...She also has an Orthodox Study Bible...whatever.

I hope are arrangement works out and lessens her bad attitude! :-)

Marina, I can't comment on how your daughter should become Orthodox, but it does sound as is she would rather explore her faith privately. I think that, when you are a teenager, it is important to have enough space to consider issues of faith alone. Clearly, your daughter is not opposed to the idea of Christianity, and it seems that she is keen to think about Orthodoxy. But perhaps she needs some private time to consider and adjust to the Orthodox faith?

I know that my faith is now a cornerstone of my life now, but being a teenager is difficult. Maybe your child needs some more time to work things out on her own? After all, she has to know God on her own behalf, not through you.
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« Reply #113 on: February 11, 2010, 02:56:06 PM »

Marina,

Welcome to the forum!  I applaud your open ear and your willingness to work with your daughter.

I also applaud, however, your guiding of the compromise.  I agree with Ms. Hoorah that parents should be parents, and I also believe that, in a Christian family, regular church attendance should never be optional.  I must admit, i don't understand how we can be so serious about making children go to school because "it's the law."  Is it not in God's Law to meet together regularly?  We did not ask the child if he wanted to be baptized; we do not ask them if they want to come to Saturday Vespers and Sunday Liturgy.

But, a few general thoughts...must "regular attendance" then mean, "every time the doors are open, you will be there"?  Two priests whom I greatly respect (both of whom have grown children in the Church), were strict regarding the dominical cycle (Sat. Vespers/Sun. DL), but let their kids have more leeway regarding weekday services, lenten things (to a point), and even some of the repeated Holy Week services.  So regular doesn't have to mean "shove a typikon down their throats and stuff their iPod full of Znamenny."  It could just mean attending some services on a regular basis.  This is not burdensome, though it may be imposed.

And...the method of imposition is crucial.  It's not so much what one says as how one says it.  We mustn't come down on Ms. Hoorah, Tamarah, or Marina (or myself Grin) for insisting on regular church attendance, assuming that any insistence to any degree must be done with a scowl and a threat.  My wife and I both had very devout parents and were in church a lot.  One of the reasons we (along with my wife's siblings) are still Christian is because 1) as has been said, we knew our parents believed what they told us, and that it impacted their lives consistently, and because 2) we knew that they were doing this because they thought it was good for us; even though we may have chaffed some at the degree of involvement with church at times, we knew they weren't making us go so that they would look good in front of other folks, for example.  We sensed the love behind the insistence.  I think that's absolutely vital in dealing with children/youth of any age; they need to know you love them, even as you make them do things (including church).

Excellent topic.  Keep us posted on your daughter, Marina!
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« Reply #114 on: February 12, 2010, 08:31:07 PM »

You need to be at church, Orthodoxy cannot be found outside the church

I disagree. I essentially "found" Orthodoxy before ever stepping foot inside an Orthodox church (granted, I only converted spiritually after experiencing the Divine Liturgy several times).
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